Saturday 22 September 2018

Exclusive: Man in car crash with 'fraudster' woman who brought €60k claim for smash two days earlier withdraws his claim

Two crashes in three days involving a mysterious object/animal crossing vehicle

The scene of the collision in Co Monaghan
The scene of the collision in Co Monaghan
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A MAN who was involved in a car crash with a woman - who is being investigated by gardaí for a separate accident - has now withdrawn his personal injury claim, Independent.ie has learned.

Angela McDonagh (28), of Brookthorpe, Gloucester, England, brought a €60,000 damages claim after the car she was travelling in was rear-ended in Swords, Co Dublin in January 2015.

The damage at the scene of the collision in Co Monaghan
The damage at the scene of the collision in Co Monaghan

Two days later, in Co Monaghan, Ms McDonagh was involved in an accident with a man named Tony McDonagh and two other passengers after being rear-ended.

Both accidents were allegedly caused by a mysterious object/animal crossing the path of the vehicle, causing the driver to brake suddenly.

Tony McDonagh brought a personal injury claim for the Monaghan accident, but Independent.ie has learned he has recently withdrawn it and the matter did not come before the courts.

Ms McDonagh did not bring a claim for this accident and denied any involvement when being cross-examined in court about the accident in Swords, for which she brought a €60,000 claim.

The scene of the collision in Co Monaghan
The scene of the collision in Co Monaghan

However, garda Diarmuid Leane of Monaghan garda station told the court last November he had taken Ms McDonagh’s name and address at the scene of the Monaghan collision.

Garda Leane said he recognised Ms McDonagh as the woman in court bringing the claim arising out of the Swords collision two days earlier.

Garda Leane said Ms McDonagh had given her address as Newport, South Wales, the same address she had given to the woman who rear-ended her in the Co Dublin collision.

Mr Justice Raymond Groarke directed the legal team of Aviva Insurance to provide papers in relation to Ms McDonagh’s €60,000 damages claim for the Swords accident to gardaí for investigation.

Pictures of the damage done to the car involved in the Swords collision after the driver rear-ended Angela McDonagh when she slammed on the brakes. Rob Smyth of Aviva described the damage as 'minimal'
Pictures of the damage done to the car involved in the Swords collision after the driver rear-ended Angela McDonagh when she slammed on the brakes. Rob Smyth of Aviva described the damage as 'minimal'

He described Ms McDonagh as "a fraud" who had deliberately set a trap for an unsuspecting driver behind her by slamming on her brakes and causing a rear-ending accident.

"The plaintiff is a fraud who has brought a fraudulent claim set up in an amateur fashion by the slamming on of her brakes," Mr Justice Groarke said.

Aviva have since referred the matter to gardaí and it is now under investigation.

Speaking to Independent.ie, Rob Smyth, head of Aviva's anti-fraud section, said the company will vigorously defend against all spurious claims.

"A fraudster should face the consequences of his/her actions, particularly if the presiding judge calls on the DPP/gardaí to investigate. Too few are subject to criminal prosecution and this needs to change," he said.

"Aviva will continue to take a zero tolerance approach to all fraudulent claims but it is vital that fraudulent claimants face the possibility of criminal prosecution. Consequently, Aviva welcomes the fact that gardaí intend to seek the transcripts of civil court cases as part of their investigations into fraudulent claims.

"This sends out a clear warning to these fraudsters that attempts to deceive insurance companies, our customers and the courts will not be tolerated."

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